Today is International Open Data Day and to mark the occasion the government is liberating previously unreleased data and making it available to the general public.
On Saturday 21 February 2015 citizens will be gathering in cities around the world to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s governments. The UK will join open data communities from around the world and there will be over 100 events from Belarus to Brunei.
The UK was recently named the most open and transparent in the world, according to global rankings looking at public access to official data.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office said:
We are the leader, but others are moving quickly in this territory as well. This is a real international movement.
My well-known mantra that gets trotted out by other enthusiasts for open data around the world is that nothing is so powerful than an idea whose time has come and transparency is an idea whose time has come. All of us who get it and are enthusiastic about it need to make sure it becomes irreversible.
Read Francis Maude’s recent speech on open data and transparency at the Institute for Government.
Open Data Camp
To coincide with International Open Data Day the UK will be hosting its first Open Data Camp on 21 to 22 February 2015 in Hampshire. Two hundred participants are expected from local and central government, start-ups and social enterprises and the private and voluntary sector. The event will create a marketplace for innovation where participants will share data, write applications, create visualisations and develop fresh insights. This will help bring the benefits of open data to even more people and help data-hungry businesses to grow.
Mark Braggins, Open Data Camp Organiser, said:
Open Data Camp has gone from just an idea to a fully-fledged event in just a few months. The level of interest has been astonishing, with people travelling from across the UK at a weekend to talk about, and make stuff happen, with open data. Working together we can help overcome some really tricky challenges, and spark ideas which could result in new businesses being born. Open Data Camp is about engineering serendipity.
New data opened up
New data from the Buy Social Directory, a comprehensive index of over 10,000 social enterprises throughout the UK, will be made available to participants along with over 19,000 datasets already available on data.gov.uk. This joint open data initiative between Social Enterprise UK, Spend Network and the Cabinet Office will ensure that, for the first time, there is the opportunity to track all spend with social enterprises by local authorities and central government. This will increase accountability and identify new opportunities for investment in social enterprise. Ordnance Survey is also announcing plans to launch a world-leading digital map as open data and create an engagement hub in London.